National & International Events - Current Affairs Questions and Answers

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1)   Which act was amended by the US House of Representatives to facilitate defence cooperation in India?
- Published on 17 Jul 17

a. Defence Secrets Act of 1911
b. National Security Act of 1947
c. National Defence Act 1920
d. National Defence Authorisation Act 2018
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: National Defence Authorisation Act 2018

The United States House of Representatives has passed an amendment to National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA), 2018.

This is a $621.5 billion defence expenditure bill to advance defence cooperation with India.

India related amendment in the bill was adopted by a voice vote in the House by 344-81.

Now, NDAA needs to be passed by the US Senate before it can be sent to US President Donald Trump to sign into law.

The India-related amendment in NDAA 2018, requires the US Secretary of Defence, in consultation with the Secretary of State to develop a strategy for advancing defence cooperation between US and India.

The amendment asks the State Department and Pentagon to develop a strategy to addresses common security challenges, the role of US partners and allies in India-US defence relationship, and role of the defence technology and trade initiative.

It also asks them to address issues to advance communications interoperability and security memorandum of agreement and the basic exchange and cooperation agreement for geospatial cooperation.

NDAA: Know More

  • The NDAA is a United States federal law specifying the budget and expenditures of the United States Department of Defence.
  • Each year’s NDAA also includes other provisions.
  • The US Congress oversees the defence budget primarily through two yearly bills: the NDAA and Defence appropriations bills.
  • They are authorization bill that determines the US agencies responsible for defence, establishes funding levels and sets the policies under which money will be spent.
  • The NDAA-2017 had designated India as a major defence partner of US.
  • This designation had brought India at par with closest partners of US in terms of defence trade and technology transfer.

2)   Which three countries signed an MoU for safe zones in Syria?
- Published on 08 May 17

a. Russia, Iraq, Turkey
b. Russia, Iran, Turkey
c. Russia, Turkey, China
d. Russia, Turkey, US
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Russia, Iran, Turkey

Allies of Syria- Russia and Iran and rebel supporter Turkey signed a memorandum on 4 May 2017, backing Moscow’s plan of creating safe zones in Syria to encourage a truce between the Syrian government and the rebel forces.

The deal was signed by the heads of the delegations representing the three ally countries during peace talks in Kazakhstan’s capital city, Astana.

The Syrian government and rebel delegations were not among the signatories.

The representative delegations reviewed the implementation of the ceasefire agreement and the termination of hostilities during the two-day talk in Astana.

After much deliberation, the guarantor countries agreed to sign a memorandum on the creation of de-escalation zones in Syria.

The main aim of the deal is to put an immediate end to the violence, to provide safe conditions for the voluntary return of refugees and to enable immediate delivery of relief supplies and medical aid.

The proposal calls for the creation of safe zones in rebel-held territories including the north-western province of Idlib, parts of Homs province in the centre, in the south and in the opposition enclave of Eastern Ghouta near Damascus.

However, in spite of all these measures, some issues remain unclear like which guarantor country would be policing which safe zone. Speaking on the same Russia and Iran and rebel supporter Turkey , Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that the issue would have to be taken up in separate talks.

Russia: Know More

  • Capital: Moscow
  • Currency: Russian ruble
  • President: Vladimir Putin
  • Population: 144.1 million (2015) World Bank
  • Prime minister: Dmitry Medvedev

3)   Which country launched its first satellite called Mongol Sat-1?
- Published on 24 Apr 17

a. China
b. Mongolia
c. Tibet
d. Turkey
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Mongolia

Mongolia launched its first satellite part of its efforts to make use of new technology to diversify its resource-dependent economy.

The 1,227-megahertz satellite, called Mongol Sat-1, will help landlocked Mongolia expand its television, telecoms and broadband services.

The satellite was launched in partnership with Asia Broadcast Satellite (ABS), a telecoms and broadcast provider for the region.

No details about the cost of the satellite and the launch were provided.

The project began over 10 years ago.

4)   Which University Institute has entered into an agreement with Indian Railways?
- Published on 20 Mar 17

a. Monash
b. Macquerie
c. Canberra
d. Adelaide
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Monash

Australian research centre Monash University Institute of Railway Technology and Indian Ministry of Railways Corporation Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited signed an agreement to this effect.

IRT with partners Balaji Railroad Systems Ltd (BARSYL), leading railway consultants in India, PwC, and Indian Institute of Bombay (IITB) were selected as the preferred supplier from a competitive global selection process.

They will provide guidance on the establishment of a new applied research and development institute in India known as SRESTHA (Special Railway Establishment for Strategic Technology & Holistic Advancement).

SRESTHA will be locally engaged, but have a global reach.

It will have the aim to become a world leader in the advancement of rail.

Significantly, the project will provide guidance to the Indian Railways on international models that will be adapted to the Indian railway environment.

5)   India and which other country are celebrating 25 years of diplomatic ties in 2017?
- Published on 28 Feb 17

a. Syria
b. Saudi Arabia
c. Israel
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Israel

India and Israel are planning to hold a series of events to celebrate 25 years of establishment of their diplomatic ties.

Both countries will hold a series of events on a variety of subjects to celebrate the occasion in a befitting manner.

India had established full diplomatic relationship with Israel in 1992 though it had recognised the country in 1950.

Both countries have been collaborating with each other on many fronts including cooperation in defence and agriculture and achieved milestones in fostering bilateral relationship.

Both countries are also committed to further deepening and diversifying the relation in many areas including those of space, science and technology, education and innovation.

Israel: Know More

  • Capital: Jerusalem
  • Code: +972
  • Currency: Israeli new shekel
  • President: Reuven Rivlin
  • Prime minister: Benjamin Netanyahu

6)   Netherlands is hosting a festival of India at which cities in 2017?
- Published on 19 Jan 17

a. Hague
b. Amsterdam
c. Rotterdam
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 


A Festival of India is being organized in the Netherlands from 26 January – 27 March 2017.

The Festival will showcase diverse Indian culture.

These include classical and folk dances, music, and exhibition on handmade ethnically sourced silk clothes and accessories.

The events will be held in the cities of The Hague, Amsterdam, Rotterdam/Maastricht, Utrecht, Eindhoven and Groningen.

During the Festival, the following events will be showcased:

  • 13-member Kathak Dance by Aditi Mangaldas Kathak Dance Group
  • 15-member Bhojpuri Folk Dance from North Zone Cultural Centre
  • 4-member Classical Instrumental Music Group of Subhash Ghosh
  • 3-member Exhibition-cum-Demonstration on Handmade ethnically sourced silk clothes and accessories by Dr. Sanjay Kumar, Director, Sewa Bharat
  • 10-member Bharatnatyam Dance by Dr Sanddhya V. Pureccha.

  • Netherlands: Know More

  • The Netherlands is a country in northwestern Europe.
  • Capital: Amsterdam
  • Currency: Euro
  • Official languages: Dutch, Papiamento, Frisian
  • Government Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
  • Monarch: Willem-Alexander
  • Prime Minister: Mark Rutte
  • Legislature States: General
  • Upper house: Senate
  • Lower house: House of Representatives
  • Kingdom established: 16 March 1815
  • Constituent country: 15 December 1954

7)   President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the 77th session of the Indian History Congress in which state?
- Published on 02 Jan 17

a. Kerala
b. Karnataka
c. Tamil Nadu
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Kerala

President Pranab Mukherjee has inaugurated the 77th session of Indian History Congress (IHC).

It was inaugurated at University of Kerala in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.

Over 3,000 historians and research scholars are participating in the 3-day session of IHC.

The IHC is the largest professional and academic body of Indian historians with over 10,000 members.

Radha Champakalakshmi of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is current President of IHC.

8)   US President Barack Obama signed a defence law asking US to take steps to recognise which nation as its major defence partner?
- Published on 26 Dec 16

a. India
b. Pakistan
c. Bhutan
d. Nepal
Answer  Explanation 


US President Barack Obama has signed into law a USD 618 billion defence budget for 2017, which enhances security cooperation with India ad conditions nearly half of the funding to Pakistan on a certification that is taking demonstrable steps against the Haqqani network.

Obama on 23rd Dec 2016 signed the NDAA or National Defence Authorisation Act 2017 which asks defence secretary and secretary of state to take steps to recognise India as America’s major defence partner

NDAA 2017 enhances security cooperation between US and India.

It also asks the administration to designate an individual within the executive branch who has the experience in defence acquisition and technology to reinforce and ensure, through inter-agency policy coordination, the success of the Framework for the US-India Defence Relationship and resolve remaining issues impeding US India defence trade, security cooperation and co-production and co-development opportunities.

The NDAA among other things, creates a USD 1.2 billion counter ISIL Fund imposing four conditions on Pakistan to be eligible for USD 400 million of the USD 900 million of the coalition support fund.

US Defence Secretary will also need to certify to the Congress that Pakistan continues to conduct military operations that are contributing to significantly disrupting terror havens and freedom of movement of the Haqqani Network in Pakistan and that Islamabad has taken steps to demonstrate the commitment to prevent the Haqqani network from using any of its territory as a safe haven.

Earlier in 2016, US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter refused to give similar certification to Pakistan due to which it was not given USD 300 million under coalition support fund.

9)   What was the series of nuclear tests conducted by Pakistan in 1998 called?
- Published on 19 Dec 16

a. Chagai-I test series
b. Kirana-I test series
c. Pokhran-II test series
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Chagai-I test series

Pakistan has declared a unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing according to the Deputy Permanent representative to the UN Nabeel Munir.

The states should prevent WMDs proliferation to states as well as non-state actors, according to Munir at the UNSC debate.

Listing the steps taken by Pakistan to fulfil its non-proliferation obligations, he stated that Pakistan has elaborated and implemented a comprehensive export control regime harmonised with the NSG/Nuclear Suppliers Group and MTCR/Missile Technology Control Regime.

The Pakistani representative also said the country has been forthcoming on translating this into a bilateral arrangement on non testing with India.

He also added that Pakistan’s credentials clearly establish its eligibility to become an NSG member.

The grant of waivers to long held proliferation norms and rule carries obvious proliferation risks and undermines regional strategic stability.

The Pakistani representative also said an equitable, non discriminatory and criteria based approach to promote civil nuclear cooperation and membership of export control regimes in particular of the NSG is adopted.

Chagai I

  • Country: Pakistan
  • Test site: Ras Koh, Pakistan
  • Period: 1998
  • Number of tests: 1
  • Test type: underground tunnel
  • Max. yield: 32 kilotonnes of TNT (130 TJ)
  • Next test series: Chagai II

10)   India signed a civil nuclear cooperation agreement on 9th Dec 2016 with which country?
- Published on 12 Dec 16

a. Vietnam
b. Malaysia
c. China
d. Japan
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Vietnam

To enhance bilateral ties between the two nations, India and Vietnam on 9th Dec 2016 signed a civil nuclear cooperation agreement.

The agreement was signed in New Delhi.

This agreement also marked the visit of President of Vietnam’s National Assembly Nhuyen Thi Kim Ngan. Ngan is the first woman to head the National Assembly of Vietnam.

This is the second nuclear pact signed by India within a month.

In Nov 2016, India signed a similar civil nuclear agreement with Japan.

Vietnam is the 14th nation India has signed a civil nuclear deal with.

Aside from the nuclear deal, the two nations signed three more agreement to enhance aviation links, to jointly work in the area of energy efficiency and promotion of parliamentary cooperation.

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